Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne says, out of the companies that bid for the restructuring of SriLankan Airlines, the US-based firm Texas Pacific Group (TPG) has been proposed as the most suitable partner for the project.
However, the Deputy Minister said a final decision is yet to be reached.
The government recently called for investors to operate SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka under a Public Private Partnership. Thereby, Peace Air with Sri Lankan affiliations, Maldivian linked Super Group Partners and US based Texas Pacific Group (TPG) were shortlisted from a group of ten bidders.
The special committee appointed to select a suitable bidder has proposed an investor.
The Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne who spoke about the above said that the committee has taken a decision to hold discussions with TPG only out of the three which were shortlisted and that the government is in talks with TPG. He noted that it is done under complete transparency and not behind doors.
Furthermore, he noted that TPG has been investing in airline services for a long period of time.
“However, this does not imply that we are going to award it to this company. These are just discussions”, he added, “So if we can meet our requirements through these discussions then we can reach an agreement with that company”.
Transactions in the stock market show that Texas Pacific Group has already made several investments in Sri Lanka.
According to an article published in the Business supplement of the Daily Mirror on August 15, 2014, majority shares of Union Bank of Colombo PLC had been bought under Culture Financial Holdings Ltd.,which is an affiliate of TPG. It is believed to be the biggest buyout deal by a foreign party.
When studying the 2016 third quarter financial statements of Union Bank, it appears that TPG owns 70% of its shares.
Meanwhile, NDB’s financial reports for the third quarter last year indicates that Perpetual Equity and Union Bank together have purchased 2.73% of shares.
On numerous occasions, News 1st highlighted the similarities between the addresses of Perpetual Equity and Perpetual Treasuries which is owned by the son-in-law of Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran